The rise of mental health issues around the world grabbed the attention of many governments and institutions. Combatting this phenomenon and lowering the prevalence of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychiatric conditions is essential.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma around mental health, especially in some populations. For this reason, we need to find an effective way to address this problem.
This article will cover the potential benefits of using telemental health to communicate with patients who need help and guidance.
The Benefits of Telemedicine and Mental Health
Telemental health services help many patients in need of a safe, affordable, and easily accessed platform.
Here are the benefits to expect from getting a telehealth appointment:
- Improves access to mental health, especially in rural areas
- Delivers quality care to the patient’s house
- Initiates the integration of behavioral health care, which promotes better outcomes
- Lowers the need for unnecessary trips to the emergency department (ED)
- Reduces any therapeutic gap since access to psychiatric management becomes easier
- Ensures the continuous flow of care and surveillance
- Reduces absenteeism in the workplace
- Removes the obstacle of transportation, which could take hours in some areas
- Reduces the barrier of stigma
Some people indeed find it awkward to talk to a person on a screen, especially when talking about intimate aspects of their life. However, most patients find it comfortable and convenient.
Some individuals report feeling more relaxed and forthcoming when talking to a therapist from the comfort of their home. Additionally, using telecommunication technology is making it easier for people to use telemental health services. Telepsychiatry Software Features
The psychiatrist can treat patients from all around the country, regardless of their physical location. However, the physician needs to be licensed in the state where is the patient is located.
Overall, telepsychiatry provides many advantages relative to its downsides, leading to enhanced feelings of safety, privacy, and security.
Let us briefly detail three of its benefits:
- Improved access to mental health in rural areas
Providing access to mental health services for people living in rural areas is an essential benefit of this technology.
According to estimates, nearly 65% of nonmetropolitan counties lack psychiatrists. Additionally, over 60% of rural Americans live in areas that designate mental health provider shortage.
- Removes logistical obstacles
Due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues, many people do not prioritize getting help from a professional therapist. For this reason, they could cancel their plans to see a psychiatrist for the slightest reasons (e.g., traffic, long trip).
Thankfully, telemental health removes all logistical obstacles, allowing patients to receive quality mental care from a board-certified physician with a few clicks on their computer/phone.
Additionally, COVID-19 is making it very challenging to visit a doctor due to the high risk of contamination, which is another reason for the popularity of telemental health.
- Lowers absenteeism in the workplace
After shedding light on the impact of mental health on the flow of work, many organizations started paying more attention to the mental sanity of their employees.
Investing in the treatment of employees can significantly improve their productivity, creativity, and dedication to work. It is simple math; invest $1 in treating mental health right now and get a return of $5 later.
For these reasons, there is room for telemental health to grow in the workplace. Some companies already made a contract with private mental health clinics to provide regular checkups for their employees.
Therefore, if you add the option of telemental health to your practice, it would appeal to other cooperations.
Evidence for Effectiveness
There is a ton of evidence that supports the effectiveness of telemental health services, with most patients reporting a high level of satisfaction. Psychiatrists also benefit from using telehealth appointments to organize their schedule and reduce the flow of patients unnecessarily.
According to reports, telemental health is equivalent to in-person sessions regarding the accuracy of the diagnosis, treatment effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. Moreover, the privacy of the patient is equal to in-person visits.
Researchers found that the overall experience is good among various age groups. Interestingly, some patients with certain mental disorders prefer telemental health services over in-person visits. Such conditions include generalized anxiety disorder, autism, and social anxiety issues. Other patients who deal with physical disabilities may also find it more convenient to conduct these visits online.
Cost and Insurance
As of the writing of this article, there are 43 states and the District of Columbia, which set laws to govern private payer reimbursement for telehealth.
Additionally, 50 states and Washington D.C. have laws to reimburse for some form of live video in Medicaid.
Using mental health services through telehealth provides an innovative solution to a severe problem that witnessed an unprecedented prevalence in the past few years. Compare telehealth software features here
We hope that this article helped you appreciate the potential role of setting up telehealth appointments in controlling the surge of mental illnesses.